Where would this sweet young couple, a Millennial buyer, prefer to live? According to realtors interviewed by the SF Chronicle (6/22/14)- it would would not be in the homes of Baby Boomers. “When Baby Boomers looked for a home many dreamed of a white picket fence and asafecommunity to raise a family.” The Millennials? They dream of a home that is move in ready, no fixers; low maintenance, no green grass; location, location- near public transportation , shops, and proximity to work. With the exception of proximity to work (assuming they retired), it is not clear that the CURRENT preferences of the aging Boomers are all that different.
The SFO headline of 6/15/14 is optimistic: “Renzo Piano drafts a model for walkable suburbs.” In San Ramon, Contra Costa County (Ca.) they have proclaimed a grand architectural vision. The architectural plans call for 70 retail spaces and a cineplex, 682,000 square feet of office space, and let’s not forget, 1,300 parking spaces! The parking spaces, per the architect, are “tucked within” one of the buildings (a.k.a, parking garage!). There is also a plaza which is intended to be a multigenerational gathering place (a.k.a, mall) A few blocks away, the architect has sketched plans for a 168 room hotel and 488 residential units. That, one supposes, is the basis for the walkable city. But, in a city of 75,000 residents, will 500 new downtown residences and 1,300 parking spaces truly “reinvent” suburbia or simply be another empty headline?